Many of my friends harassed me throughout the summer about the heat and humidity at my home in south Florida. They bragged about their mountain views, cool evenings, and crackling fires and asked if I was sweating. It seems that now the temperatures are dropping fast up north, and they are suddenly singing a (shivering) different tune as I enjoy near perfect weather.
I’ve been watching the tragedy in California unfold where a town called “Paradise” was destroyed. California has beautiful weather most of the time, but droughts and fast-moving Santa Ana winds create conditions whereby fires can rapidly accelerate and turn even a beautiful place like “Paradise” into hell. Florida can indeed be hot in the summertime but when it cools down some it becomes a tropical paradise in its own right, but the occasional hurricane reminds us that no such thing as paradise exists on this earth.
This world is constantly changing. The Lord on the other hand never changes; He is our rock and anchor: Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. As we all encounter major changes in our individual lives, and as the world around us continues to change, we desperately seek a place to find hope. Some look to money, power, fame, achievements, but they do little to combat hopelessness. We need somewhere to stand when we wake up to news that a loved one has passed away, or our job is in jeopardy, or the last candidate we would want was elected into office. The truth is, there is one thing that never changes, the one thing that stays the same: our unchanging God. He is the singular truth that never changes.
I like to muse about the way our world and lives were designed. Was it deliberate that this world and even life itself is so chaotic? I think so. As I thought about this today it seemed clear that God does not want us to put our “all” into this world. Yesterday I was at the beach in the afternoon and stood watching the ocean waves sliding into the shore. Birds were flying up and down the beach and it was quite the serene setting. Oh, but how quickly it can turn into a raging monster and I’ve seen it when it seemed hell bent upon destroying anything in its path.
We live on shifting sand in uncertain, and in many ways, frightful times. What tomorrow holds cannot be known by us. I can tell you however, that though we don’t know what the future holds, we know who holds the future. His name is Jesus and one of these days, He IS coming back. It is the one unchanging thing in this rapidly changing world.
I don’t want Him to change either. Read what the psalmist wrote about Him: Psalm 145:8 – Yesterday, today, and forever he is the God who is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” I suppose the moral of today’s word is that we should not be anxious about this little snippet of time for we will spend eternity enjoying God’s love and peace in a place where the chaos of this world will finally be tamed. It will be the true paradise where death, sickness, destruction, and the sins of the world will never exist. Frowns will be replaced by smiles and Jesus will gently wipe away all tears. What a glorious day it will be.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.